I’m at midlife: 40 years old and this is the time when things start to fall apart for many families. The ‘newness’ of a relationship is long gone, life isn’t as exciting as it once was, bills continue to come and people wonder realize that their goals they’ve been chasing are not as wonderful as they expected them to be. There is a house, car, kids, many stuck in the suburbs and people wonder “What am I doing with my life?”
I had an experience yesterday with an old friend that was odd. He is most likely soon to be divorced. I learned a while back that he had gotten a bit violent with his wife and I had a talk with him about it to which he denied any violence had taken place. He assured me he wouldn’t do something like that. Well, not long after he was put in jail twice in a row, once when his wife called the cops during a dispute and then the next night when he didn’t heed the 48 hour restraining order and went home anyway after he got out of jail.
I knew things were going badly when he told me how his wife could be such a ‘raging bitch’ sometimes and believe I even heard her on speakerphone going ballistic over something trivial. Well, I think this finally got to him and he probably did put his hands on her. So yes, he is absolutely at fault as one should never resort to violence but I also have discovered that when this happens the woman is absolved of absolutely all guilt. I know she had treated him badly for a long while and I wonder how long it would take any man to finally break when treated this way.
Anyway, we had the wife and her visiting family over for a nice afternoon a week ago and that is when I learned it was most likely leading to a divorce. I then saw the husband and wife yesterday, and it was the first time since all this stuff happened that I’d seen him. I almost didn’t notice he was there but when I did I said “hello and shook his hand.” He started to walk down the hallway a little ahead of me and I noticed he was limping. I asked if he was alright and if he had the hip surgery he was talking about. He told me it was just normal wear and tear and so I asked him if he had good “healthcare/insurance.” He looked at me in an odd way and it seemed he didn’t appreciate the question. He was being a bit standoffish.
I really don’t get why he would be so sour to me. Usually guys have a ‘guy code’ where we can relate to one another on a ‘guy level,’ pushing aside even outright insults and just talk. When I learned he was going through problems and his wife was away I reached out to him inviting him to dinner and beers but he didn’t answer. I persisted and finally got a response that he would take me up on it soon. When I followed up he didn’t respond and yesterday was the first time to see him since then.
This is really a shame because I had thought that we were friends. I did my part trying to be a good friend in reaching out but it appears he is isolating himself.
I wonder when and how this will all resolve itself. We will be crossing paths at times on weekends and I wonder if he will open up or continue to be standoffish. I wonder what will happen to his family and when the most certain divorce will happen.
I look back at old pictures and feel quite sad that things have ended up this way for them. I also do not understand why grown people cannot get their act together and fix things when something as serious as a family being torn apart is imminent. Very sad indeed.